Saturday, September 13, 2008

Put the Fun in Flossing and Promote Kids' Oral Health

(MS) -- If we were to think about keeping teeth clean in terms of making a movie, many people would view the toothbrush and toothpaste as leading actors, with all other accoutrements (floss, tongue scrapers, mouthwash) as part of the supporting cast. But dental professionals say this isn't really the case. All oral health items should share the lead in keeping smiles bright and teeth healthy.

Many people are quick to brush their teeth twice a day, but far fewer take out dental floss and keep up with the task regularly -- especially children. But that could be a mistake. Flossing removes the tiny bacteria that reside between teeth, bacteria that are responsible for producing acid, which eat away at tooth enamel. Bacteria are also notorious for contributing to bad breath. The earlier kids get into the habit of flossing, the sooner they're on the road to a lifetime of good oral hygiene.

Why Floss?

According the American Dental Association, flossing once a day is key to keeping the mouth healthy. Apart from reducing cavities and bad breath, flossing has an even more important purpose. Without flossing, you're leaving behind roughly 40 percent of the bacteria present in your mouth. Over time that bacteria can build up causing plaque, which hardens into tartar along the gumline, meaning more time spent in the dentist's chair. And what child wants that? Tartar can inflame the gums and lead to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is more than just a few loose teeth and swollen gums. Gum disease has actually been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and stroke -- that's certainly nothing for kids to smile about.

Thinking About Floss in a New Way

Children know flossing can be difficult, messy, and pretty much a pain -- especially when there are better ways for them to spend their time. Also, kids may have difficulty perfecting the dexterity required to pass a piece of floss between all of their teeth. So, it's no wonder children often opt to skip this important step.

However, now good flossing habits can start in childhood, thanks to FireFly(R) Kids' Flossers by Dr. Fresh(R). These colorful, single-use Flossers are easy to use -- even for beginners -- and perfectly sized for a child's small mouth. There's no more grappling with awkward, slippery lengths of floss, or struggling to reach tight spaces in the back of the mouth. Kids simply grip a bright, Firefly character handle pre-loaded with the perfect amount of high quality nylon waxed floss for each use. Then, they gently slide the Flosser between two teeth, using a saw-like motion, and repeat until all the teeth have been flossed. After that, the teeth are ready for a final rinse, and the used product gets tossed.

"Holding the handle instead of the floss itself is not only easier, but also a far more hygienic approach for kids," says Steven J. Brattesani, D.D.S., a San Francisco-based dentist. FireFly Kids' Flossers are designed for kids ages 4 through 12. "The shape and color of the Flosser are fun, and they're the perfect introduction to a lifetime of good oral care habits."

FireFly Kids' Flossers come in an assortment of orange, blue, pink and green and are available at mass market retailers nationwide. To learn more about different oral-care products to make dental health fun for kids, visit


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BrioII said...

When kids don't have to put their fingers into their mouths, they are more likely to want to floss, so we are told by Moms who have used our Gripit Floss Holder. You can see these in action at Have your kits watch the clever animation showing how Gripits work.

oceanstyle said...

BrytonPick - floss in seconds, should be easy and fun tool to use after every single snack. Prompt removal of food from between teeth should be one of the first habits to teach our youth.

Nichole Mercado said...

According to my Chandler dentist, flossing is also important in preventing halitosis or bad breath from happening. It's a good idea to introduce flossing to children at an early age so that they can develop it as a habit that's hard to forget.